A Friendship is a Terrible Thing to Waste

A blog article by Bonniejean Alford (educator, activist, world citizen))

The most amazing thing happened as I read through the statuses of my friends on Facebook: I saw that an old friend of mine from high school, whom I haven’t seen in 20 years, happened to be in my Illinois town visiting friends (rather than back home in California).  I sent a message and she came over and we caught up on those twenty years in just a few hours.  It was spur of the moment, fun, and a great reminder of the value of friendship.

But it got me thinking: How often do we really take the time to nurture and honor all of our friendships?  I know I don’t devote as much time as I should to each of the amazing and unique friendships I have cultivated over the years.  Truthfully, I am not sure I have enough time in a year to more deeply develop each and every friendship I have made, since I am a social butterfly and all.

But the reality is, some friendships are meant to be fleeting while others are meant to stand the test of time.  How do you know the difference?  How do you pick and choose which friendships to build and which to allow to fade away?  There really isn’t an easy answer.  But to start, you take every opportunity to spend time with the friends you have and those you hope to make.

But it really isn’t that simple, is it?

It could be, if we forget about the reciprocal nature of friendship.  I have had friends over the years that I have continuously reached out to that haven’t responded.  They have ultimately chosen for me to let the friendship fade into the realm of all things past.  Can I blame them?  Not at all.  They have busy lives just as I do and in seeking out long term friendships one needs to connect on a multitude of levels with a deep mutual respect for a friendship to truly stand the test of time.

And all this can only be made less simple when we take into account the vast array of Internet social networking sites, like Facebook, that put all those friends of the past at our fingertips.  In the days before Facebook, some friendships would exist only in the hallows of the past with the question of “what ever happened to ____?” asked at reunions and the like.  Now, long term friendships, fleeting friendships, work friendships, past friendships, and any other kind of friendship you can imagine are lumped together in one big party on Facebook.

The jury is still out on the mental health factor of it all.

As I say this, I am reminded of a car commercial about a daughter that spends months convincing her parents to join Facebook.  They finally do and have about twenty friends.  The daughter is so excited about their progress as she comments about her hundreds of friends and how looking at their pictures online is living.  The commercial cuts to her parents out hiking, biking, and other activities out in the world with friends.

As I sit at Facebook, sometimes sucked in for hours, I wonder which is better and if there truly can be a balance between the two.  Was the world a better place when we all weren’t so linked in?  Don’t get me wrong, each person I have chosen to friend on Facebook is someone that means something to me, even if the friendship began many years ago and took a very long hiatus.  For me, friendship is for life unless you screw me over so badly that there is no recovery (has only happened three times in my life).  The friendship depth does vary from person to person, but it doesn’t change the fact that once my friend always my friend.

I see each and every one of my friendships as a blessing.  But like anything important, they take hard work and need to be maintained.  In my mind, wasting a friendship is worse than wasting money.  Money can be replaced (eventually), but the unique connection two people share is one of a kind, irreplaceable, and simply priceless.

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62 thoughts on “A Friendship is a Terrible Thing to Waste

  1. Hmm, this is a very interesting topic of friendship and friends on Facebook. First of all, people having like 400 to 500 friends on Facebook is kind of a joke. Unless you are on Facebook 8 hrs a day like a full time job, there is no way you could keep up with that many people and have meaningful relationships. When you have that many friends you are portraying to others that you are more popular than them and this is a fake virtual reality. I have 200 friends and that feels like too many to me, and as Jimmy Kimmel would say, time to do some un-friending. If you can count your good friends that you truly love and trust on one hand than you are very blessed. Friendship is not about quantity, but rather quality. A good way to put it as the Pastor at my church said, when you find a biblical friend, someone that picks you up when you’ve fallen and holds you down when your ego gets to big, you have found something worth cherishing. A true friend is someone that praises you when you right and reminds you when your wrong. Instead of being pleasing to their flesh, think rather to be an inspiration to their soul.

    1. It’s really funny that you mention unfriending people. I have a quarterly audit on my Facebook. I go to my lists and check whether or not I speak to those people. It is a meticulous process and my unfriending has a criteria. The criteria is: does this person saying anything helpful, does this person cuss constantly, and does this person post inappropriate pictures. Many of the people I tend to keep on Facebook are people I see very often. These are the people I consistently offer encouragement in person or via Facebook. Quality friendships are so much more important than the quantity. “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” True friendships are like farm crops they take toil, they take work, and they take time to grow and take time to produce.

      1. This is funny because I just recently looked through my friends on Facebook that I don’t talk to and I unfriended them. It has gotten to point that I don’t accept people as my friends on Facebook unless I know them. I do this because I feel that people just add you to be nosey. We also share the same criteria on how we sort out those whom we choose to unfriend.

      2. Absolutly correct. I think it is sometimes pointless to a lot of friends on facebook. Friends are people that are as close to as family. They will always be there for you and as friends do, look out for one another. In my opinion, I’d rather have a really small group of vey close friends, than a large group of distant friends.

    2. I agree with the face book friend comment you made. It’s true. How can someone have that many “friends”? I know people with over 1,000 friends and I think to myself ” I don’t even know 1,000 people”. I am one of those people who have a select amount of friends as well. I don’t friend someone just off the strength of knowing the person. I friend people with whom I’ve had some sort of meaningful relationship with. True friends are very hard to come by and I don’t use the term “friend” so loosely.

    3. I agree. That is how one of my teachers put it. “Friendship is not about quantity, but rather quality”. What is the whole point of having 500 friends on facebook when you don’t even know who they are. You will never talk to them because there is no relationship or some sort of bond. I only have two best friends that I still talk to even after high school. You do get to meet new people at college or at work, but usually those relationships don’t last long they end once they move on from work or the semester is over in school.

  2. Face-to-Face time is becoming diminished as use of technology grows. When people are no longer having personal and intimate conversations that are in person this spawns a lack of empathy. How intimate can relationship become without personal interaction, eye contact, body language, and the intimacy of human contact. Facebook, Twitter, and other social websites promote good causes such as relief for the earthquakes in Japan but good causes still can’t replace human interaction. These websites can connect people with common interests and share information but what they can’t do is create human interaction. Human interaction creates empathy and without empathy society will not survive. People can become callus and cold if they don’t maintain relationships. Skype was created so that people can see the other person’s face to make it more personal but this still isn’t the same feeling. Talking to a family member you haven’t seen in years is completely different in person, the atmosphere is more memorable. I believe talking to a best friend is so much better in person than communicating via skype, text, or over Facebook.

    1. I think that you’re taking this way to seriously. I agree that these social websites are diminishing personal relationships, but that’s only if people allow it to. If people continue with texting and facebooking but never call their friends or family then yes, relationships can suffer. I for one text and facebook from time to time, but the relationships that are important to me causes me to make the effort to call those particular people and stop by to see them on a regular bases. So in short, I feel that technology can only diminish relationships if people allow it to.

    2. I believe true friends should be a afce to face interaction. Now-a-days people can make themselves seem like a great person on any type of social network. However, a good close friend should be someone you have similarties with that you are well aware of. Being friends with someone online is completely different than being friends in actual person. Friends you know in person are people you can see frequently. And also your not afriad of being yourself around them.

  3. I know many people who don’t take the idea of Facebook and connecting among friends all over the world serious, but yet takes it as a game to see who has more friends. Honestly I don’t care If I have 5 or 500 friends. (If I even know that many people) I add people I know, not random people I saw walking down the street, or the cute guy that just requested me. Most of the people on Facebook know 1/4 of their friends they have on Facebook, yet call them friends. People take the word friends for granted. To me a friend is someone I can count on if I have 1000 dollars in my pocket or a penny. A friend is someone who’s there when I complain about my parents or boyfriend and is there 5 minutes later when I say how much I love them. They’re there no matter what if your happy, sad or just need someone to talk to. People keep mistaking aquaintances for friends and causing drama and counting on the wrong people.

    1. Rawski628 I see exactly what you are trying to point out, I agree that most people view Facebook or Twitter as a competition. In fact, when I started my Facebook and my Twitter I was competing with my Friends who can have the most followers on Twitter or who could have the most friends on Facebook. I currently have 600 followers on Twitter and 3000+ friends on Facebook, and out of all people I barely know 75% of them. Most people that you consider your friend just because they are connected to you on a social website doesn’t mean you can count on them to be there for you like your real friends because 9 out of 10 times they won’t be.

  4. I think Facebook isn’t even really used as a way to keep in touch with friends much anymore, it is a popularity contest to see how many “friends” you can have. A lot of these people you may have never even met or talked to before. I know I have added someone like that but that was because it was a friend of a friend and I was just interested in knowing about them. To me, friendship is so important. I rely a lot on my friends for support and just..my overall happiness. I treat my close friends at least as if they are family. The quantity doesn’t matter as much as the quality of friends I have. There’s also a difference in the friends I have such as some people I don’t talk to much and only see every once in awhile but we know each other well enough and hang out when everybody gets together. Then there are those close friends who I talk to or see almost everyday. Also, it is completely different talking online than it is in person. There is no facial or body reactions that you can see or the tone of voice a person is using. These are key components in communication that helps us connect with each other better. For me, it is easier to approach someone online rather than in person just because of how shy I am but I still would much rather build a friendship in person. It is more intimate? and you can connect with the person a lot better overall.

    1. As Americans we live in a day and age that is thriving with all sorts of technology. The technological advances in fields such as computers, medicine, and personal communication have made our lives more comfortable. The United States’ standard of living some of the highest in the world partly because of the help of technological advances. This fact sounds very appealing but dependence on technology creates both positive and negative effects on people. Can dependence on things like Facebook and smart phones cause people to be less relational? Technology has made Americans and the world more connected through means such as Internet, smart phones, and social websites but that connection is less personal and intimate. Have websites or mobile devices become our new best friends? People have become obsessed with Facebook and being connected. We may be connected but our relationships are somewhat disconnected at the same time. Just because you have 1000 friends doesn’t mean you truly have all those friends and know the intimately.

  5. Personally, I can understand the reasons why someone might want hundreds of Facebook Friends. I think the problem is that “friend” in this case is a bit of a misnomer, and followers is probably a better way to describe it. Either way, having a large number of followers, or following large numbers of people, allows for some really interesting conversations and ideas to be spread. The idea behind Facebook isn’t just making friends, but to make a “social network” in which thoughts and ideas can be easily transmitted. A practical example of this network effect in the real world was the recent revolution in Egypt. Clearly, it is impossible to be “friends” with everyone on the internet, but social networks like Facebook made it easier for the protesters to communicate their ideas and unite.

    1. You’re absolutely right Jeff. I never thought of it this way. These people on our “friend” list are exactly that: followers. I think if we think of it this way, people won’t be so sensitive about being denied of a friend request or once friends, being removed from a friend list. People shouldn’t be so into facebook the way we are. We should be out living our lives and only going on facebook when we have extra time. Life is for living, not sitting in front of a computer watching everyone else live their lives.

  6. Being on Facebook definitely helps keep in touch with friends of the past as well as present friends. I use it at a minimum, I rarely post a status, and I use it for what it’s for – networking. I have benefited out of having it by getting in contact with my relatives I have never met. I has given me an opportunity to be in contact and get to know them without traveling around the world just to talk with them. It depends on how people choose to stay in contact and become “friends” and to know who their genuine friends are. I have never been to any of my high school reunions, as my fifteen reunion will be creeping up soon, and I have managed to stay in contact with two of my closest friends from high school without Facebook. It’s those friendships that can go months or years without talking and still pick up from where you left off are the ones you know are genuine and may be the ones to last beyond social networking.

  7. I agree that friendships are something that everyone should cherish. Even though I know a lot of people disagree with me on this, I think Facebook and all of the modern technology we have today is necessary to maintain some relationships, especially long distance. I think it has come to a point where nobody would know how to get in contact with someone they haven’t seen in a few years if we didn’t have Facebook. I can honestly say that I would not talk to some of the people I talk to now if it wasn’t for Facebook. I am someone who has had a lot of friends over the course of my life, a lot have come and gone, especially throughout middle school and the beginning of high school. I will occasionally see someone that I used to be friends with post a status, and it makes me think “I should see how he/she is doing”, so I do. I am someone who has 1000+ Facebook friends, and while I understand that it is unnecessary, I enjoy seeing how people from elementary school or people that have moved away are doing, even if I don’t talk to them. Even though I am a big fan of Facebook, I have seen it cause many issues between friends, and quite frankly, it causes a lot of drama. I’ve been friends with the same group now for 5 years and we obviously don’t need Facebook to maintain our relationship. Mainly, I think it helps maintain those relationships that have drifted, and can help in restarting a relationships that were lost.

  8. I believe that a friendship has to be mutual. Like you said, you tried contacting people who haven’t responded- I’ve done the same and I realize the friendship isn’t worth my effort if I’m the only one putting in the work. I think this relates strongly with relationships- it has to be a give and take thing; one person cannot do all the work while the other is out doing their own thing.
    Friendship is an extremely valuable and wonderful gift in life; it cannot be forced. When I bring people into my life I hope they’re going to stay there…but there’s no forcing.

    1. I agree with you Taylor C completely because I to feel that a friendship has to be mutal. You shouldn’t have to put your all in a relationship and the other person isn’t meeting you half way, it should have a equal balance. For example you always text someone and if you don’t text that person you wont talk to them, because you know they wont text you on there own. That isn’t how it is supose to be both should put the efford in to communicating with one another.

  9. I totally agree with you Bonniejean, friendship is a terrible thing to waste. I don’t understand why people change for the worst in a friendship, it’s like why are we friends in the first place if your not even going to make an effort to stay as friends? Facebook does come in handy when friends move to another area and thats the only way you can keep in contact even though both haven’t seen one another in a long or short period of time. As we’re young all we want is to be the most popular people in the school but as we get older we realize most of those people become backstabbers. I’ve realized in my personal experience is too not trust anyone with your secrets unless you truly and really trust the person.

    1. I understand what you are trying to get at in your comment. So I agree with you because everyone does want to be the most popular kid in school. Some will do anything even push there friends to aside to achieve that goal of being the most popular. I was forced into popularity through sports I didn’t have to step on people to make it to the top. In my life people have tried to down grade me to make a name for there self, and I personally think that is stupid.

  10. I like this article a lot and feel as though I could relate to it very well. Growing up I had a lot of friends and was always close with a large number of them. This included going places, playing sports, etc.. Then as I got older I seemed to have started drifting away from people. I started taking the solo approach to life and my personality changed to a level that was just different than who I was and why people liked me. Currently I have lost a lot of friendships from it(some were because of other people not just me, haha) and it makes me sad. I actually feel a bit lonely at times and am not happy with many of the decisions I made. I now see the benefits to the friendships I missed out on having and look forward to creating new friendships. I think that everyone should try to reach out and be close with their friends and social networking and cell phones make staying in contact these days that much easier.

  11. I enjoyed this article a lot because I can relate to it very well. When I moved to Chicago from New Jersey in 2002 I lost contact with a lot of my close, childhood friends from back home. Sure I could call them sometimes but nobody ever seemed to have the time for that. Then social networking like myspace and facebook were created and that changed everything. I was able to reconnect with tons of old friends that I hadn’t talked to in years and it really helped me realize who my true friends are. People who I haven’t talked to or seen in years still treat with great respect and act like im still there best friend which was very comforting. Friendship is definitely a huge part of my life and society. Over the years I have made and also lost many friends over a number of stupid, pointless things. It is something you definitely should cherish because you never know what you have until its gone.

  12. I agree with this blog because a friendship is a terrible thing to waste. I relate to this article alot because I often find myself wondering who is really my friend and who isn’t. Now a days a person can do a real good job pretending to be your friend. I believe that God picks and take those out of your life that isn’t worthy enough for your blessing. I refer to my friends as a small circle, because over the years I have distanced myself from those who i thought were my friends, and now i surround myself with friends that have the same mentality as me. Those who are motivated to be successful as I am. The friends that I have now are the same people that I grew up with. Some of my friends attend different schools then me. So Twitter and Facebook are social website that I use to reconnect with them if I loose contact with them. Also these websites can also keep me inform on whats knew with them just by reading a status. Friendship is extremely vaulable to me because when I can’t rely on my Family I know my true friends will not turn their back on me.

  13. This was such a great blog to read at this time in my life. With my first year of college weeks away, bonding my friendships has been my goal all summer. My senior year of high school was full of tragic drama for me and it really tested my friendships and I learned quickly those who were true and those who weren’t. I’ve done a lot of thinking this summer and the letting go process has begun. It was tiring holding onto grudges and I realized I needed to focus on the friends that I actually value. With so many of my friends going away I truly value social networking to stay connected with them and to keep the ties strong.

  14. This is something I need to consider, because I about five different groups of friends I talk to. And I do see two out of those five groups a lot more than the other three. I should probably try to even it out before I lose them as friends. Other than that, I have over 1100 friends on Facebook, and now that I think about it, I actually want to go through my friends and delete all the people that I do not talk to at all anymore. It is not about how many Facebook friends you have, it is about the ACTUAL friends that you have in REAL life, not some social network. The sentence in your article is very important, and true as well. Money can easily be replaced, but a friend can not be replaced if you lose them. Some friendships will come back, but usually when people start to not like each other, it really never goes back up to where it used to be. It is great that you caught up with someone you have not seen in 20 years in a matter of hours. Those few hours must have been so exciting! I know I would have been exciting the entire time and probably wouldn’t have been able to sit still.

    1. I totally agree with “cleaning out” your friends list. I never accept friend requests from people I don’t know or people that I’m not really friends with. Still somehow I actually see my friends list and I delete the people that I don’t really care to be in contact with. I think everyone should clean out their friends list because there’s really no need to be friends with complete strangers if the purpose of staying connected and up to date with your friends is the goal of social networking.

  15. I’m happy I read this article because it really has made me think about my friendships that I have with people. “Some friendships are meant to be fleeting while others are meant to stand the test of time. How do you know the difference?” This sentence of the article really stood out to me. Are there signs that can point me in the right direction of knowing which friends are going to stay in my life or which friends that will fade away? I think facebook has really helped everyone stay linked. I know that when I helped my mom make her facebook, she was so happy when she was able to find old friends. Seeing her old friends come over and how happy she was to be with them made me happy. Life moves fast. It’s inevitable for people to become busy and forget about people they have met in the past. It’s great that now you can hop on facebook and hopefully reconnect with an old friend.

  16. I agree that facebook is helping to change how we define a friendship. While some people think that lack of facebook friends is a bad thing, the number of friends on facebook has no value whatsoever. I have my friends that I see and talk to in real life, as well as people online, but only the people I have bothered to meet and try to have a real friendship with, are the ones I consider true friendships. While I don’t mind using facebook as a way to share photos, I’d rather talk to my friends while hanging out, or via text message. While friendships sometimes have drifted a part, or aren’t as close as they once were, I try to make sure that the ones that matter to me don’t fade away.

  17. I have definitely found that social networking sites increase the ability to stay connected with others. It’s nice to be able to catch up with friends online, and in one place, especially if college puts a lot of distance between you. Even though we may talk on facebook, I cherish the time my closest friends and I get to spend together in person even more. Facebook is great to stay updated with extended family from out of town, and even friends from high school, but I would much rather spend time with my best friends in person than comment over someone’s status or mobile upload. Maybe it’s because I like that our face to face encounters are more personal, and don’t get displayed over the internet or maybe it’s just because you need those close shoulders to lean on in person.

  18. Facebook has definitely helped me pursue past friendships that I really did treasure when I was with them in person. Though great, sites such as facebook can have a negative connotation for a friendship that is fragile. From personal experience, a friendship of mine that was on the rocks, it was a struggle not to take some of her statuses as ones about me. Though several were about me, some I took as such. The friendship did end, but I did enjoy the times that I did enjoy her company. Facebook helped me “see the light” in a way but also let me understand that every friendship should be treasured for as long as they may last. The friendship I had with this particular person was one that was worth letting fade but let parts remain as a lesson.

    1. Facebook is a great way to not only reconnect friendships, but also determine if this person is an actual “friend.” Just like you, one of my “friends” was messaging and flirting with my girlfriend at the time, as he was completely unaware that I was sitting right next to her. That level of disrespect made me realize that some “friends” have sides you havn’t seen. Or as I would like to call it, “back-stabbers.”

  19. This is a very interesting topic. I feel the same as it can be harder to maintain a friendship. For me I have moved from a small area to a new area. It’s kind of hard to maintain those old friendships because we all are so busy. I am glad Facebook is there because I can still catch up on people. Growing up I always had a small group of friends. I think that was the best because having a small group meant being very close. Now being in college, I don’t talk as much to my friends from where I grew up. Maybe like one person that I am very close with. It can suck because you want to see that person, but you can’t because of how busy both people are. Also I see friendships as how people treat me like you said if people screwed you there is no recovery no chance. I have had people screw me over but not in the sense of there being no recovery. Usually with those types of friendships I usually am friendly, but I don’t tell them everything that goes on in my life. Sometimes with friendships I feel that it can be hard to communicate. Like everyone said they don’t like when their trying to put in effort, but the other person isn’t. Trust is very important to me and if you screw me over sorry you just lost a part of me. But I still try and forgive people despite the fact they did me wrong. It’s probably the worst thing but life is too short to be angry. For me bottom line if people are nice to me I’ll treat them nicely also. Friendships can be a difficult to discuss because there are many the ups, the downs along the road. But I think that with along with those ups and downs make the friendships stronger

  20. This is a awesome article. I really do see friendships as blessing. Being friends with someone is an honor and a priveledge so you should never take advantage of that, ever. Life is such a speedy process and unfortunately good friends have their own lives too and you are forced to split your own ways at times. I think most friendships begin to fall apart in college. You make really good friends in high school for four years of your life, then in college you are forced to split your ways and end all physical contact with that person. Cell phones and indirect communication can only go so far.

    1. I agree with you about friendship being a great thing. However, I disagree about losing contact after college. Even though you won’t see that person as much as you used to, I feel friendship is like a brother/sisterhood. Their will always be that connection with the person. And a true friend will always be there whether it direct or indirect.

  21. I think like you said Facebook can be used for good and bad. I am an example of both. Sometimes when i log on to my computer and go on the internet to go do some school work i will just accidentally go on Facebook. However i also have made good use out of Facebook and even created new friends. I am in a few groups about music. one called Sound Share where me and a few of my friends would post songs that we just found and then more and more people were added and i will run into them when i go to concerts. I even got to meet some of the people in the group when I went out to Colorado this summer. I think that Facebook for me takes away from the people who I am kind of close with but don’t really talk to on the phone or text. I can contact them through the messenger. While i can contact my real friends by the phone. I like it a lot better this way because i can focus on the people who really matter to me. rather than on a bunch of people. This way might not work for people like you who are social butterflies but for people like me it works perfectly.

  22. Hey Bryan! It’s cool that I’ve found you on this site. I like how you have utilized Facebook for other cool hobbies and things that you get into. I see many people use facebook as a way to promote businesses and network with other people who have the same interests as they do. That’s cool. I like that you save the real conversations for your real friends on the phone or over text. You’re right, it’s a lot more genuine that way.

  23. I think Facebook appeals to the 1st world because it gives us the ability to escape our own reality. We can see the progress of someones life from our smart phones. Social media also gives us the ability to communicate with people from our past. Do I think friendships are hindered by it? No, I think a friendship today is just as meaningful as it was before Facebook. If anything Facebook has helped me. I was in the Army for 8 years and I am proud to say that all of my most valued friends are veterans. Many of them are still in the Army, or live far away. Facebook gives me the ability to communicate regularly. Also, while deployed Facebook was how I communicated with my family. I think this breakthrough of social media has given us the ability to maintain stronger relationships from a far.

  24. From my own experiences, I can say that Facebook has been a good thing for me and my friendships. I will admit that at the beginning of my Facebook usage I was friends with way more people than I needed to. People I had only met once were my friend on Facebook. But now that I have made some adjustments, I appreciate Facebook. With the combination of my busy schedule and the busy schedules of my friends, I don’t always have the time to meet up with them or catch them on Skype. Facebook is an easy way to keep in touch with my close friends amidst the craziness of our lives.
    Although I don’t do this, some people use Facebook as an excuse to not see their friends. Allow me to explain. A person might think “I know what she’s been up to because I saw her posts on Facebook, so I don’t need to meet up with her and catch up”. In this case I think Facebook can be a negative thing, so I think it all depends on the motive behind the usage of Facebook.

  25. I think that Facebook is not a way to keep in touch with friends anymore. Instead it is almost a popularity contest to see who can have the most “friends”. Sometimes people are not even friends with people on there that they know personally, it can be friends of friends. Sometimes it is used in a good way. to keep in touch with people that live out of state or even out of the country. You can see things they put online and keep up with their lives. It can also be a great way, like you said, to catch up with friends that you have not seen in years, with the attempts of possibly rekindling a friendship.

  26. It is very difficult to be able to really spend time maintaining each friendship a person has. Facebook serves a variety of purposes for friendships. On one hand, it is nice to be able to keep up with people of from our pasts, while also being able to be closely linked to people we see on a regular basis. People who keep only people they know and actually have some kind of relationship with benefit most from having Facebook. Those who add anyone and everyone are kind of defeating the purpose of staying connected, as random updates from unfamiliar people clouds what the people we actually know have to say. It also gives room to spark drama and old issues that people thought had been left behind which makes Facebook both a positive and a negative thing for friendships.

  27. I like this article. I know from personal experience that giving up fast food is not easy but your body will reward you for it. When I first moved to Illinois I noticed a lot of people going to the gym and drinking protein drinks (not energy drinks). After about a month I became one of those people and I stopped eating fast food in general besides the occasional deep dish pizza also but I dropped 40 pounds in less than a year doing that. It was a blend of going to the gym and stop eating that food. Fast food is kind of like working out the first 2-3 weeks of forcing yourself is horrible but once your body gets use to it your golden. So when I went back to Michigan to visit for a week guess where I ended up with my friends, McDonalds. It tasted awful and my body rejected it (no more detail than that). After that I feel back in to old habits because it was convenient. I gained every last pound back and then some in months. I think the food revolution is here and people are picking sides now. I see a lot of people swaying away from McDonalds but they are not going away. They are trying to sway those people back in with snack raps and salads. I betrayed the side I should be on but I know my mistake and it will be corrected. Everyone else better choose their side.

  28. It’s funny that I’m reading this now because over the weekend I’ve fallen out, once again, with my best friend of ten years. It is true that it’s very hard to know which friendships are meant to stand the test of time, but sometimes when you make a connection with someone like you never have with anyone else its easy to see that you’re meant to be life-long friend, right?? Our friendship in my opinion has been pretty good but ever since i moved to Illinois four years ago she’s been saying things have changed. yes things changed because people change everyday. Like we used to sit on the phone for half of the day, everyday. But when I moved I have that kind of time anymore. but that’s not even the reason we fell out. For the past couple years, we would stop talking for a couple months because she would say things aren’t the same, or she didn’t like something I said. Usually I would respond in a way that would basically mean “you’re right I’m wrong, sorry” but lately if I feel I’m not wrong I will let her know. Long story short, she didn’t like my reaction to her sarcastic words so she told me to never call her again…. that’s not even half of it! She proceeded to unfriend me on facebook and instagram, which she does anytime she’s mad, but she also told her brother to do the same. When he didn’t, she got mad at him. I looked at her tumblr page and saw that she wrote a poem about what happened between us.I feel social media has made matters worse. This is really bothering me because I don’t easily make connections with people and call them a friend and she has been mine for a decade…but I do feel that this is not the end for us because sometimes you can just feel when someone is meant to be in your life.

  29. Bonniejean, this article was fantastic and extremely true. I have found during the last few years that Facebook can be a fabulous tool if used correctly. Facebook has brought me the ability to connect with my friends back in Mexico, with my family that lives overseas, and with fiends from all over the world that I have met over the years. The only problem with this site is that it is extremely easy to get distracted by all the information being continuously uploaded to it. This constant flow of unimportant facts distract us leading us to invest countless hours in something that is not beneficial at all. This website leads most people most of the time to procrastination. Facebook can be dangerous so we must try to pay attention to the time we spend on it and what we do during that time.

  30. I completely agree on this subject. Just throwing away a good friendship that you had with someone just feels like you’ve wasted so much of your time. Facebook does bring to the table an easy way to keep in touch with many different people in your life. The only downfall is sending messages to one another is not the same as meeting face to face. A message lacks the emotion of the person and you will never be able to tell whether or not the person is just lying to you and pretending to be your friend. To me Facebook is useful as far as getting in touch with someone that you haven’t seen in years, but it does not feel like a proper way to talk to friends and family that live close by.

  31. I completely agree with everything said in this article! Since I graduated early from High school I sort of moved on. And was so over the high school experience. But I began to miss the friendships I had with people there. I felt really disconnected from everything. But it wasn’t like anyone was contacting me. And I believe a friendship takes two people. It works both ways. I don’t want to be the only one making the effort. Because it really get’s tiring and I don’t like feeling rejected or ignored. But I also experienced something similar. One of my friends moved away and came back into town. So we got the chance to catch up and rekindle our old friendship. It was genuine and really brought a joy to me. Like Bonniejean stated, money is just temporary. But friendships last a lifetime and are way more valuable than any cash.

  32. Friends are a tough topic to talk about. You make friends with someone when you have the same interests as them like how you would be friends with a pre-school buddy because you guys like the same color. As you age your friends age and change, so it isn’t all that wrong to let them drift apart. The important thing to remember is the good times you had together. Facebook is an entirely different subject when it comes to friends. Yes, it is nice to stay in touch with true friends and relatives, but Facebook pollutes the term friends. I guarantee those people with 500 friends and what not think everyone single one of those people care about them. I not saying this to be harsh, but it is true. It is all about attention on Facebook notice when a person posts a normal photo how many likes they get opposed to a girl that posts a flirtatious photo. That is why I think Facebook ruins the word friend. A definition of a friend would someone who is always there for you and talks with you. Facebook makes it all about attention and jealousy.

  33. I know being away from friends and losing touch with them is hard. I know exactly how it feels like because I’ve experienced it too. Since I left Iraq which was in 2009, I have lost contact with many of my friends. Some of them were my best friends and they still are in my heart, but I contact them. Even if I tried to connect with them I couldn’t. They barely have access to internet. At least here in the U.S. we have access to every type of social media and contacting devices. We never lose friends here because everyone’s got profiles on some type of social networking. Friends are important and when I lost contact with my friends it felt like I had lost a piece of my life.

  34. This is going to sound really rude. But as soon as I graduated high-school I went through all my Facebook friends and un-friend every single person I didn’t know or knew I would never see/speak to again after high-school ended. It was time to mature in my life and seeing some people’s Facebook posts made me mad so I couldn’t go on I had to de-friend a ton of people. True friendships are what makes the world go round and what keep us going. Without friends a lot of people would be very misguided and wouldn’t know what to do in life. Friends are there for us in the worst possible times of our lives and help us get through that. Which is why you have to value those friendships no matter what. True friends are truly hard to find and you have the keep the true friendships around. If Facebook is your only way to keep in-touch with a “true” friend then that’s not a true friend, that friendship should stick strictly to Facebook. A true friend sticks around all the time and doesn’t go anywhere no matter how long it’s been or how bad a situation gets. Friendships are something people take for granted now days but in the end it’s all some people have.

  35. I find your ability to reconnect and maintain friendships with almost every friend you’ve ever had, both astounding and beautiful! I love how you said, “once my friend, always my friend” and I wish I could be in that state of mind. Unfortunately, almost every single friend I’ve ever had, is no longer my friend; we don’t even speak. In fact all of my ex- friends and I aren’t even friends on Facebook – yeah, it’s that deep! This is due in part to fall outs and time/ distance, etc. I’ve met plenty of people over the years that I was CONVINCED I would be friends with forever, be in each others weddings, etc; boy was I wrong! Past failed friendships have definitely left me jaded to the point that I put forth absolutely no effort in making new friends and have low expectations for the friends I do have. I’ve found that people will let you down and try as I might, I can’t help but be consistently underwhelmed and disappointed by each and every friend I’ve had. All of these things have led to me being in a place where I consider myself to have only one true friend, and even that person is debatable. I have my family members who are better collectively than any friend I’ve ever met, and that is enough for me.

    1. Thanks. And I get it. Don’t get me wrong, I have friendships that have ended. Some naturally and some due to extenuating circumstances. With the exception of one persons, if any of them showed up on my doorstep, I would be there for them in a heartbeat. I just believe that once I call you friend, I should take that role very seriously.

  36. I think it is an interesting article because it is quite true too at the same time. It is something nice that you are able to connect with your family and friends through web. I don’t use Facebook a lot because I do get bored. But I still get to talk to my friends whom I haven’t talked from years. Everyone is able to connect with anyone around the world. Technology has been improving a lot. There are so many new apps and web pages where people can stay connected with each other. Also, people should not add random people whom they do not know. Everyone has their own privacy and there are people who make fake accounts of others. Before adding someone, always need to make sure do you know them or no.

  37. I think Facebook and all social media has changed friendships and relationships forever. I personally don’t use social media to connect with my “true” friends. I talk to the people I care about every single day, and it’s not through social media. I think Facebook is just an excuse to “reconnect” or keep a “not-so-close” friendship going. If you really care about someone you try your best to see them, and if you can’t a phone call is much more personally than a text or leaving a comment on someone’s wall. But I guess that’s just me.

  38. You ask, “How often do we really take the time to nurture and honor all of our friendships?” If you have a job and go to school you just simply don’t have time. Sometimes I go weeks without talking to one. It’s upsetting because you have to put responsibility’s first. But the best part of it all is if I don’t talk to her for several month, we will just pick off where we left off. If your friend starts getting mad because you have to do homework or you’re just too busy then that is not your friend. Friends understand your busy schedule and try to work around it.

    1. I recognize that people are busy, but the point of the article is not just about spending time despite being busy. I have friends that we talk we when talk, but we have quality connection. But if years go by, and neither party has been engaging, is there really a friendship any longer. Even busy you have to make sure that every now and then you talk or Han out. Otherwise, bye bye friendship.

      1. I have a friend that I knew since 1st grade. She moved to South Carolina 2 years ago. But I still consider her my best friend even though we barely talk. We mostly connect through social media posts which makes communicating more easily. Because we are both busy with our separate lives. And even though we talk like once every 6 month she will always be my best friend. Just by looking back at all your memories with a person will never remove them from your life. So to answer your question, “If years go by, and neither party has been engaging, is there really a friendship any longer?” I say their always is a friendship if you really care for the person and want them to always be included in your life.

  39. Friends come and go, but the friends that stay with you for a long time are the ones that are really priceless. Everyone is busy, but that is no excuse for not checking up on someone that you claim to be a friend. I have close friends of my own that I still check on every once in a while even though we are all away at different schools across the country. I’ve known them since grammar school, and have maintained a close bond with each of my friends. I value those friendships very much, so I make sure that I keep in touch with them and make sure that they’re okay. Comparing social media friends with real friends, there’s a distinctive difference between the two when regarding which friendships develop into a lifelong companionship.

    1. As a kid, my parents moved us around a lot. I lived in 5 different cities in 3 different states before I was 8 years old. In those younger years I made and lost a lot of friends. The result is I got good at making and losing friends, but the significance of those friendships was diluted because I knew we would be moving again. I suppose I could attempt to find some of those people on Facebook now, but I doubt they would even remember me so what’s the point?
      The same issue translates to my current position in life. I don’t socialize much outside of work, so most of my friends are met at the workplace. I’ve no plans of staying at this job forever, and it has a high turnover rate, so once again, this temporary position means that the people I associate with are temporary. Sure, I’ve met a couple of people worth keeping close, but for the most part I have acquaintances at best. My Facebook friend list is full of artifacts from my past, and online they remain just as they were in real life: in the background, providing a small bit of entertainment when I’m bored.

  40. I have had moments such as finding old friends on facebook. I like facebook for the fact it keeps me in touch with people from my past. I was a Rhythmic gymnast back in middle school and I had to quit because it got too expensive and it was a long drive for me to be doing every day. It was a serious sport especially with all the competitions all over the place. But there were five girls in my level including me and we were like a family. Since we saw each other practically everyday, then when we had a stay at a hotel for a competitions we would all go out to eat together and explore together. So when I quite I was very sad that I wouldn’t be seeing these girls anymore. Then when I made a facebook I got a friend request from one of my old team mates and it made me so happy to be in touch with these girls again. Facebook is a real waste of time but it really does help keep a connection with people you might not see all the time, even with family members who live far away.

  41. Facebook can be viewed as countless wasted hours streaming amusing videos, looking at old pictures, and a news source. A half hour can blow by when we are locked in on Facebook without us even realizing it. Same goes for all the other social media traps. However-Finding a friend whom you haven’t seen in years makes it all worth it. There’s a certain nostalgic feeling you get when you reconnect with someone from the past. Facebook even allowed me to come in contact with family I have in Italy, that I never even knew about. When it comes to friends, let’s face it-Only 5% of those on social media would really be there for you in your time of need. I believe it’s important to value that 5% above all else. Friends can be family and you wouldn’t neglect your family unless the circumstance called for it. Facebook may be a waste of time, but if you can bring back memories with just one friend, then it’s worth it.

  42. While I find your article intriguing, I would say that I use Facebook more to comment different people that I have had the pleasure of being called a friend in funny pictures that remind me of them. Most of the time it is always my cousins, since they have been my neighbors since childhood and we always hang out; but I find that when I tag a friend that I haven’t spoken to in awhile and it is always a good way to start talking again. While there are some people that don’t want to respond or acknowledge that I attempted to reach out, maybe they didn’t find the picture as funny as I did, it doesn’t bother me as much as if it was my cousin or a closer friend. Although I do find myself losing track of time on things that do need to get done, I still at least know that I was able to put forth a little effort in that lost track of time to reconnect with old friends. Which I find is better than randomly bumping into them or attempting to reach them on their phone only to find out that they changed their number.

  43. I don’t make friends often (because I’m shy and can’t start a conversation with strangers), but when I do I get attached really fast. Honestly, I only have like 5 close friends and they’re all I need. My cousin came to America in 2014 and we instantly became best friends. Since then we’re inseparable and I felt like I was missing something in my life before I met her. Even though she isn’t here right now we’re obviously still in contact through social media. Though we don’t talk as much now since we’re both busy in our lives but when do, we don’t stop talking for hours. There’s a quote I would like to share which sums up our friendship: “Best friends don’t need to talk every day, you don’t need to talk to each other for weeks, but when you do, it’s as if you’d never stopped talking.” I am so thankful for social media because I can always contact her without having to worry about anything.

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